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by Katrin on Fri Sep 4th, 2015 at 03:41:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The offer is exclusively for those refugees who camp out at Budapest Keleti station or who are marching along the highway (even official police estimates range from 800 to 2,500) or along the railway (about 300; all the others on the train stranded at Bicske gave up and were taken to the refugee camp), not for refugees currently held in camps or arriving in the future. The decision was explicitly justified with the need to restore normal transport (there are traffic jams on the highway and trains pass the refugees on one track at 15 km/h, and the subway stations at Keleti were closed off to prevent any more hooligan–refugee clashes). The government also said that now everything depends on Austria: they only promise the refugees to take them to the border, not across it.

According to reporters on the ground, the refugees are incredulous and distrustful – no wonder after the lies and dirty tricks of the previous days.

This decision was taken by an official "emergency committee". For a week, the government didn't feel the need of one. On the day police executed its fateful U-turn at Keleti station, the national police chief was at some government seminar and had no clue. As for the interior minister, he was on holiday and didn't feel the need to interrupt it. Orbán himself was in Brussels on the day of the "end station Bicske" dirty trick. In other words, The Great Hungarian Refugee Crisis is a glaring example of near-total mismanagement – but I doubt many Fidesz voters will recognise that.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Fri Sep 4th, 2015 at 04:37:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
They have played the ball neatly into Austria's court then.
by Katrin on Fri Sep 4th, 2015 at 05:08:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
In the night, it became clear that Orbán, Faymann and Merkel reached a tripartite agreement.

About 4,500 refugees were taken to the border in 104 buses. Just in time as the autumn rain started during the night.



Austria transported the refugees further on buses and trains.

4,500 is a lot, but for scale: in spite of the border fence, Hungarian police detained over 2,000 'illegal' immigrants yesterday, while in Greece, daily new arrivals are now around 4,000. (The 800,000 annual total number for Germany would mean about 100,000 a month from now on, that's 3,300 a day.)

The refugees marching along the highway were the most distrustful of the bus transport offer: fearing another trick to take them to the Bicske camp, they first boarded only a single bus and waited until it actually arrived on the border, and insisted that a journalist or NGO helper sit on every bus. (The photo below from Instagram shows Index.hu reporter Balázs Pandi in the middle, on board the first bus.)

I find that the international media gives rather incomplete reports of the "last station Bicske" dirty trick, so they don't get the level of the refugees' distrust.

I think one of the many mistakes of the government was to ignore that most of the Syrians are educated people: the police measures and dirty tricks assumed a wild rabble who could only rage against their fate. But these were people who self-organised and informed themselves and each other and created strategy, which proved effective in derailing each government plan even if it was far from the level of professional PR.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Sat Sep 5th, 2015 at 04:16:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I find that the international media gives rather incomplete reports of the "last station Bicske" dirty trick, so they don't get the level of the refugees' distrust.

Another small bit on this: at Keleti, the refugees boarding the buses wouldn't accept anything from police, so instead it was a group of punks who gave them water. In the previous days, the punks got the refugees' special attention, the children were especially amazed.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Sat Sep 5th, 2015 at 04:42:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
When Hungary, Austria and Germany agreed to open the borders for the refugees, all three governments emphasized that this was a one-off event that won't be repeated. Which IMHO is totally illusory. Indeed right now, the following is going on:

  • Austria already counted 6,500 entrants: that is, in addition to those taken by the government-sponsored buses, 2,000 more arrived travelling on their own. (Or with the help of smugglers. There were three Syrians whom the [Hungarian] smugglers dumped from their cars and robbed at gunpoint, fortunately police found the refugees quickly and managed to catch the culprits.í9
  • There is a trek of a few hundred from a refugee camp near Győr, forced off the highway onto the parallel main road but otherwise not hindered.
  • There is another trek of hundreds who broke out of the camp at Bicske, who were also forced off the highway.
  • Half of the 2,000 refugees at one of the bigger camps in Debrecen (in the extreme east of Hungary) left the camp and travelled to Budapest Keleti by train, joining hundreds more who didn't made it to the buses.
  • Half of the above boarded trains and the first already changed trains in Győr.
  • The other half (mostly younger people) are staging a repeat of yesterday's trek along the Budapest–Vienna highway. In rain. Orbán declared that no further buses will be sent and these people must get off the highway.

The Austria government expects to deal with a wave of 10,000 arrivals. Given that in the previous days, the refugee stream was throttled and what we see is like a dam breaking, an ebbing of the flow by tomorrow can be expected. But with 2,000 crossing the Serbian border each day, methinks any new attempt to close off the Austrian border will only result in a repeat of past week's events. And I suspect this is slowly dawning on the politicians.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sat Sep 5th, 2015 at 08:36:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, it is strange that they believe they can return to the old "Dublin" days. Dublin is toast. Now the more repressive are talking about quotas to distribute refugees. There is a proposal by Gregor Gysi, which I find good: don't distribute humans, let the refugees decide which country they want to live in, just distribute the costs by quotas.
by Katrin on Sat Sep 5th, 2015 at 09:38:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
By now all the treks boarded trains, and police was suddenly cooperative and effective. The Debrecen refugee camp in east Hungary nearly emptied and all travelled on from Budapest, so ebbing I expected is now on.

It hurts to see the level of civilian activism and welcome in Austria and Germany, when compared to that here. Even if local activism picked up dramatically in the last two days (the treks today got help even in the small villages which vote overwhelmingly Fidesz and Jobbik), because those are contrasted by absolutely vile reactions from many many passing people. For example, when a car driven by two old ladies tried to pick up a family with small children which couldn't keep the pace of yesterday's big trek along the highway, the driver of a Porsche with Slovakian license plate [a tax cheat trick] jumped out to physically threat them; two refugees at Keleti got into hospital due to petards thrown by the hooligans; at a nearby park, two girls with the hooligans invited some refugees out so that the hooligans can beat them; at a pharmacy, a refugee with an open wound was sent away.

It also hurts to see that in five days, a rag-tag army of people barely speaking English managed to force the Orbán regime into complete surrender with actions of non-violent resistance, something the domestic democratic opposition couldn't manage in five years.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Sat Sep 5th, 2015 at 06:22:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It also hurts to read that the protest of far-right party Die Rechte in Munich was attended by a grand total of five people, against 200 counter-protesters, and an earlier protest by the same was disrupted by a state TV moderator who mocked the chief neo-Nazi for arriving on a not at all German Toyota. Meanwhile in Budapest, Jobbik held a rally, while state TV kept up its demonisation of the refugees till the end, constantly complaining about their stench (seriously, what do they expect from people who couldn't wash themselves for a month?).

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sat Sep 5th, 2015 at 07:05:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I highly recommend you watch this nine-minute video. Shot by the Index.hu journalists who joined the trek along the highway, you can hear some of the heroes of Friday in their own voices.

The subtitles are in Hungarian but all the interviewed speak English. The one part where there is a lot of Hungarian and some Arabic is from 5:00 in, that's when the buses arrive. The man in red jacket explains that the first six buses won't stop because they will pick up the trek along the railway tracks (the one from the train stopped at Bicske) because they are in even worse health. Later the two Syrians in yellow baseball hats debate whether to board the buses or avoid another trap by walking on. Later the Hungarian interpreter relays the demand that all bus drivers confirm in front of cameras that the buses are really going to the border.

Also, for example the shot of the guy at about 1:05 is priceless.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Sun Sep 6th, 2015 at 06:44:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Impressive.
by Katrin on Sun Sep 6th, 2015 at 01:50:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
And now in English on YouTube:

The comments have already been swamped by trolls.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Sun Sep 6th, 2015 at 05:43:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
And now the Austrian Facebook-organised convoy meant to break thew law about helping the escape of refugees is en route to Budapest. Altogether 251 cars.

Who will be whom they'll pick up at Keleti station? Most of the few hundred refugees currently there are Afghans and Pakistanis who didn't buy a train ticket out of uncertainty about their situation: they know Germany made an exception about the Syrians.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Sun Sep 6th, 2015 at 08:17:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]

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